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ST. PETERSBURG, May 11 (Itar-Tass) —— A Just Russia is prepared for constructive cooperation with the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Cabinet but it will be critical about initiatives of the national administration, A Just Russia faction head Sergei Mironov told a Friday press conference.
The faction’s rejection of the prime minister candidature expressed its disagreement with the policy of President Medvedev, Mironov said. Yet the faction will not vote down every initiative of the government, he said. “We are prepared for constructive cooperation but we will be critical,” he said, adding that the faction would support any positive idea of the government.
A Just Russia is not holding consultations on minister candidatures, Mironov said. “None from our faction will become a government member,” he said, noting that it was a logical result of the faction’s rejection of the premier candidature.
Five members of A Just Russia’s faction did not take part in the vote on the premier candidature, and five supported Medvedev - Dzhamaladin Gasanov, Leonid Levin, Nikolai Lakutin, Igor Zotov and Alexei Mitrofanov. Yet only Mitrofanov is a member of A Just Russia party.
Mironov confirmed that Mitrofanov would be expelled from the party. The decision will be made at the next meeting of the party bureau due next week. He also said that the other four deputies would be barred from the faction activity. “Let them vote as they want,” he said.
Mironov said before the vote on Prime Minister Medvedev that the faction would be unanimous in its rejection of the candidate. “We will either have a unanimous vote or you should not come at all,” he told faction members. Mironov also promised to take ‘very serious measures’ as regards the deputies who would not listen to his recommendation.
He noted that the faction could not expel its members even if they acted in disagreement with the faction policy. “We will bar these deputies from the faction work though. A Just Russia has applied a similar measure to Igor Zotov, who was strongly recommended not to attend faction meetings [Zotov expressed the wish to revive the Party of Pensioners, which used to be an element of A Just Russia],” he said.
Effective laws say that all the deputies must remain members of the factions, on whose ticket they are elected. The laws say that persons who volunteer their withdrawal from factions may lose their parliament seat.
Meanwhile, Mitrofanov said he did not fear possible sanctions by the party administration. He said it was possible to pass laws at the parliament only in cooperation with the government.
“A Just Russia, including me, made numerous promises during the election campaign. We promised to raise pensions, to reform the housing and public utilities sector and to employ former servicemen. There is no other way but a dialog with the government,” he said. “A Just Russia, which holds 15% of seats at the State Duma has no chance to endorse a single budgetary amendment or law without communicating with the government.”